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One Billion Rising at EMCC

By Ernesto Oliva
One Billion Rising

On February 2014, Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) participated in the global “One Billion Rising” dance campaign to raise awareness and to end violence against women and young girls. 

The “One Billion Rising” campaign created a choreographed dance to “break the chain.” The purpose of the dance is for women to figuratively “break off the chain” their abuser has on them.

Worldwide, violence against women happens often. One of the event coordinators, Dr. Sandy Zetlan stated, “One out of three women in the world are beaten or raped one time in their life.”

The dance is all about a woman owning her space and not being scared to dance in public. Sociology professor, Dr. Olga Tsoudis led the dance for faculty and students as she demonstrated each new move that had its own meaning.

During the event, various women took the stage and shared their story on how they survived the consistent abuse suffered earlier in their lives. Student Andrew Tran stated, “Being surrounded by all of these women who have survived being mistreated by men is inspiring. It’s also great that Estrella Mountain Community College is shining some light on this subject.”

The outside courtyard of Estrella Hall was decorated with inspirational T-shirts that promoted encouragement with such phrases like “battered but not broken” and “break the silence.”

Student Jemimah Garcia said, “I’m glad that I attend a college where these types of issues about women are important. It makes me feel like I am making a difference for others.”